Saturday, April 12, 2014

Whom to vote for ?

I have never shared my political opinions so far. In my house we were encouraged not to tell whom did we vote for even inside the family. I don’t know who my father voted for at all. I always used to think he was a Congress enthusiast. My brother was a CPI card member and as a 15 year old I had participated in rallies and labored to write voter slips at my brother’s insistence. For a long time I grew up believing that Communism is the answer to world’s evils. And the New Century Book house subsidized books only helped reinforcing those thoughts. That is till USSR collapsed and I became a capitalist myself. Whenever I have voted, I always out-voted a government. That much is certain. It has never been looking forward for a positive government. Come to think of it, India always votes that way. They want to send a message, they want to prevent some party from forming a government or returning to power. Maybe 1984 elections where people voted overwhelmingly in favor of Rajiv that too on a sympathy wave only.

OK, enough of this preamble. This time around I want to be open about whom I am going to vote for. Honestly there are only 2 credible options for us. Parties that can form a government. One is Congress and another is BJP. Unfortunately they are now UPA & NDA, yes unfortunately. Because this means you have the Mamta’s, Mayawati’s, Jayalalitha’s , Karunanidhi’s holding a card. And none of them can be PM’s either. No point in wasting our vote on them.

So either it is Congress or BJP. I have a huge laundry list of reasons on why one should not vote for Congress.
  • Corruption (In CWG, toilet rolls were invoiced at Rs. 4000/- per roll, in a labor rich India, we can get a person to wash our bum for a month at this cost. Even worse, if we are a politician holding some office, we can get scores of people doing it free of cost. )
  • Weak Leaders (There was a time Congress was still left with leaders who had self-respect. Indira Gandhi effectively killed it. No wonder D.K. Barooah said India is Indira, Indira is India)
  • Bad Governance (They have ruled for the major part of Independent India’s existence, and whatever good happened, it happened because of visionaries like Varghese Kurien, M.S.Swaminathan, Sam Pitroda and Abdul Kalam. The argument that it happened under their watch doesn’t sell. It was not a part of their strategy documents. Pitroda could be an exception in this list)
  • Not many achievements to boast about (A departure from Nehruvian economy is what changed this country and we should credit the current PM in his capacity as an economic advisor and later FM)
  • Their sycophancy towards a single family (A clear case of lack of personal identity to any of these leaders that they always wanted the crutch of this first family. It is atrocious to even think that we don’t have better leaders than Sonia and Rahul in this country of 1.2 billion people)
  • Their arrogance that it is their right to rule this country (Less said the better it is, they have always cried foul whenever they were not chosen)

Now let us take the BJP. I once again have a list of reasons about why one should not vote for them. Lucky for them, they haven’t ruled for long that one can cite governance and corruption as major reasons.

  • Influence of RSS (Now RSS may be a well-meaning organization, but their jingoism is completely unacceptable. Mandir is the last thing I want in my life. If possible I want a strong government that can do a state-sponsored demolition of many of the temples, mosques and churches we have, particularly the ones that are in the middle of the road )
  • The insecurity it can create to Muslims (Thus polarizing them towards the so-called secular parties who are really not secular. And encouraging people like Bhukari & Owaisi. Look for an article on Syed Imam Bhukari who has spoiled all the goodwill his family had since the time of Shah Jahan.
  • Possible jingoism towards Pakistan (Refer to their manifesto - about reviewing the ‘no first use’ policy of nukes )
  • What if Modi turns a Hitler? (Germany flourished under Hitler but it unleashed the worst imaginable crime against humanity)

The jingoistic elements in either of the parties scare me shitless. There was a tweet today by someone who used the word ‘orgasm’ and you should have seen the extreme reactions from the right wing supporters. And the secular parties are no less. Someone wants to hang women who has sex outside marriage. (the BJP cronies are celebrating Modi's celibacy as an argument, nincompoops)

The most difficult image makeover Modi & his team attempts is completely undone by these jingoists (I am not suggesting that he has changed or I totally believe in the Gujarat story of development). And he has his own party members who want Mandir to appear in the manifesto.

The AAP has been a clown in the circus. It is not the educated who don’t come to politics, it is just that they become illiterate the moment they enter politics. And all of us keep laughing at the no of times AK gets slapped. Just imagine what will happen if Modi or Rahul gets slapped. And thereby becoming illiterate ourselves. They are not an alternative yet. It will be like the DMDK being the opposition party in TN assembly.

I don’t have answers to my doubts on the BJP. But I somewhere get a feeling that Modi will ditch the party and RSS the moment he gets a foothold. He has done that to Advani and to Joshi. And if what he talks is true, combined with the fact that Congress should be booted, BJP deserves our vote this time.

Talking of bigotry, whenever people jump against the BJP, I keep smiling within myself because but for religious bigotry all other forms are actively promoted by the society. In Tamil Nadu, a supposedly advanced state, there are honor killings. A good friend of mine, in FB boasts that he is ‘----‘ racist (fill his caste there), none of us are exceptions to it. We align with our townspeople, caste people, sub sect people (Thenkalai Iyengars, gosh I think they are converted!!). All males are either active or dormant MCP’s but we will participate in a candle light march. Social media is there to establish ourselves are champions of outrage. But it is all bull crap. We need to give a decisive vote to a government. The coalitions have killed us where we are forced to live with regional interests, corruption etc. In my case, I am lucky. I have a good man to vote for. L. Ganesan from BJP. There are 42 candidates in this constituency, the highest in the country. The only time I will take is to search his name. Personally I don’t think he will be mute if minorities are killed enmasse. That’s a belief, I may be wrong. But I need to ride on hope.

Indian Elections is a miracle. Read this article. Nothing new in this. But this is what we are capable of. Go, don’t waste your vote. Let us try BJP this time (not if your candidate is a criminal or tainted otherwise). At least with 272 seats. Not forcing them to go behind the scam tainted parties. After all they are also a political party.